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What surprised me at social innovation academy (SINA) in Uganda

I get to know this place, not by an acquaintance or any recommendations, but from doing research on google. Simply, I typed the social innovation training around the world and so many websites came up. So why did I choose this one, a place I have never been and barely knew something. At that time, I only looked for the price and the time period, for which SINA perfectly suits me as the program fees are around 1000USD and the total period is three months. Even though I decided on this plan but still, this journey came with the struggles.

I started this trip after a farewell with my work and my family members, and especially my boyfriend, he was always supporting me even though he did not want me to go. Anyhow, I was on my way heading to Uganda. personally, I get images about Africa only from the media, reporting people are bothered by insufficiency resources and illness and I never thought I would go to Africa one day. But life is full of surprises.

I was picked up by several SINA members at the airport and they were all Africans with dark skin and welcoming smiles. It turns out, they were welcoming and hospitality throughout the whole time of period, which chased my loneliness away.

Credit to SINA youtube channel

SINA is a big place and attached to the typical African building style, and what surprised me a lot was those bottle building and they are constructing them every year. There was one bottle house about to finish the design when I arrived and another one started to build when I left. I am not sure if these answers to bottle waste? but it works best in African countries where the resources are limited and it is sure a way to upcycle plastic bottles. 60% of houses are built with plastic bottles in SINA and they also use this resource to attract tourists which is a smart move and generates income for them as well.

Even though the instruments are scarce there, but they created a playground where people can play basketball and football, a gym compound for people to do exercises, a multimedia house for SINA members to enjoy the entertainment as well. Ideally, you can find anything you need there in your daily life.

Credit to SINA website

So what SINA does basically? This has to start with its history. The German founder of SINA was one of the volunteers of an orphanage in Uganda back to a few years ago. He has the heart to support these orphans, but he found out that those orphans were difficult to pursue their careers after adulthood. So he decided to help them build their capacity, training them with leadership and entrepreneurship. Then he came up with SINA conception to transform those orphans to be job creators, not job seekers, I was touched by this point when I first looked at their website.

So now they are not only recruiting orphans but also ambitious youth from all over the world. And I am happy to be one of them and the first Chinese in 2018. I joined Applied social innovation which is the first stage of social innovation, where we had the most interesting personal development and later on professional training.

The most wonderful part about SINA for me is the atmosphere there. Once I stepped into SINA, then I felt that I was different. Specifically, the people there all have their social projects and I was trained to be a social entrepreneur there, I have some mentors to support me also, besides, I was surrounded by so many outstanding youths, in which I felt I am so powerful and there is nothing I cannot do. This is a complete system to walk with you through your entrepreneurship. I do believe people deemed to accomplish their passion and dreams in that circumstance and so did I.

Truth to be told, I feel less powerful now compared that when I was there, it feels to me like I have lost all my people who are battling beside me, and now I am alone in the battle. I really hope this model can appear around the world, to ignite the passion inside people and create changes together. No matter what, I will keep the passion and on my way to start my own change, and I highly recommend SINA to you, if you also want to make changes and experience the different sides of the world. You can find more information on their website: https://www.socialinnovationacademy.org/

Credit to SINA website

This is the most wonderful experience of my life ever.

This article was edited by the original author without their consent, and should not be reproduced.

By Social Innovation Insight

We are the bridge of change!

33 replies on “What surprised me at social innovation academy (SINA) in Uganda”

[…] As I mentioned before that SINA is a cradle for social entrepreneurs, where people get support from 360 degree which trains them with entrepreneur courses, builts their organizational capacity through holacracy system, gains emotional and professional support via mentorship process. So there are already 32 different social projects going on and it is getting more and more. Those projects cover hottest social topics, ranging from plastic upcycle and recycle, girl’s and women’s health production, refugee capacity building, suicide prevention, plastic bottle construction and more. […]

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